The UK’s largest recycling show, RWM 2014, will be staged at the NEC in Birmingham next week (16-18th September). As an exhibitor and visitor at the show for over 23 years, I have seen the highs and lows of the show.
One of the first shows, where I managed a stand, was in the very early 90s. It was exciting and the show was full of exhibitors releasing and showing new technology. Recycling as a concept had evolved from the perception of rag and bone men into a widely acknowledged and respected industry and there was also the ever-growing impact of tightening governmental environment policy. There was a real buzz in the industry and the show was full of international visitors.
Ten years later and the RWM show had changed completely. The exhibition hall was now dominated by wheelie bins and collection vehicles and the show appeared to have lost the support of the equipment suppliers. Maybe it was because the amount of new technology being developed and brought to market was limited, but during this period RWM lost it’s international status and became predominantly a UK show.
However, industries evolve as do their associated shows and RWM has grown substantially in recent years and now features the broad spectrum of exhibitors that truly reflect the diversity and complexity of the industry. Pressure for reuse, reclamation and recycling continues to grow from around the world and this is inspiring companies to develop new techniques and equipment to meet those growing needs. The exhibition has evolved, as has the industry, and maybe 2014 will be the most successful so far.